A/W Action at Newcastle and Dundalk on Friday Night! - (2021)

Updated: 26/10/2021

Top Newmarket trainer William Haggas has fired in 9 winners from 20 runners so far in 2019, the master at Somerville Lodge hitting the ground running for another exciting year ahead. Haggas also boasts an impressive 40% hit rate with all of his runners at Newcastle in recent years, which is why his sole runner of the day, ALLIEYF, is trading at warm odds to land the opening novice stakes tonight at 5.30pm in Dundalk…

ALLIEYF showed glimpses of promise in two turf starts in 2017 and 2018. He has been gelded since his last start when 3rd at Pontefract back in May and looks to have found a weak race here to kick off 2019 with a win. Offspring of New Approach have a moderate record on the Tapeta surface, but he should really be winning the opener here. Jockey Paul Mulrennan is 0/22 in the past 28 days, so it would be a welcome tonic to begin March.

Epeius, Jan Van Hoof and Archimedes form a formidable trio of chances in the 5f sprint handicap at 6.30pm, but at likely double figure odds, it could be worth keeping an on Paul Midgley’s RANTAN. This 6yo has quite a few decent runs over 6f on the turf to his name and a drop in trip on the A/W here rather catches the eye, where he’ll be competing on a workable BHA mark of 65.

He’s a bit of a shot in the dark, but a big run wouldn’t surprise.

Look out for John Gosden’s SEVERNAYA in the 7.00pm maiden over seven furlongs. This well bred newcomer must be doing some nice bits of early homework judged on her price for this race and with opposition looking low on the ground, she won’t need to be a star to take it on debut. The 7.30pm is a trappy affair where it is difficult to split the top three in the market so I am happy to let them figure that one out between themselves and focus on the last at 8.00pm. A Class 7 sprint handicap over the minimum distance, it is a very open heat, but it could just pay to side with the in-form Ben Haslam, who has fired in several winners in recent days. DISPLAYING AMBER ran disappointingly here back in October when last seen, but was a convincing course and distance winner a month earlier and looks well treated here returning from a break on a mark of 49.

Yuften is back for more…

Good old YUFTEN is back for more at Dundalk having won his last two races there for latest trainer James Feane. If you’ve taken note of the other pair of “shorties” mentioned in this piece thus far, Yuften would make a worth addition for a multiple bet of some sort in the opening claimer at 5.15pm.

BURNING LAKE bumped into a well-backed and fancied jolly here last time out and the pair came clear of the chasing pack on this 3yo ex-Charlie Hills’ runner’s stable debut. The handicapper nudged him up a fairly harsh 3lb for that, but he did take really well to the surface and the services of a bright prospect Donagh O’Connor claiming 5lb tonight makes him a major player in the 6.15pm handicap over 7f.

JIM BOLGER has been steadily finding the net in recent weeks, has a respectable 16% strike rate with all of his Dundalk runners and his filly GASTA must have very sound place claims in the 7.15pm handicap, again over the 7f trip. She has been struggling to cope with a mile and further in recent starts, so this drop in distance could be really encouraging for the daughter of Vocalised.

Gasta was rated 93 as a juvenile, so clearly her current handicap mark of 74 rather jumps off the page.

The Listed Patton Stakes over a mile at 7.45pm is the race of the night and sees a return to action for Aidan O’Brien’s WESTERN AUSTRALIA, who was last seen finishing 3rd to stablemate Magna Grecia in the Group 1 Vertum Futurity Stakes at Doncaster. Tonight’s trip of a mile will prove to be on the sharp side as the season goes on, but the race is a perfect starting point for this fair prospect, who should have the beating of Van Beethoven.

Joseph O’Brien’s Numerian could be the party pooper, if there is to be one.

The final two races at Dundalk are also very trappy affairs over 1m4f and 2m, not necessarily the type of distances I excel at in terms of finding winners. On speed figures, McGuigan (8.15pm) and All’s Quiet (8.45pm) would just about come out on top if pushed for an opinion. Perhaps a small double containing those two could yield some reward if Lady Luck is on our side.

You can read more from Kevin O’Malley and find the latest form, racecards, free tips & news on GG.CO.UK.

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